Alan Harvey

Emeritus Professor, MA Camb., PhD ANU

  • The University of Western Australia (M413), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • The University of Western Australia (M309), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Born in London, UK. BA and MA from the University of Cambridge, PhD in visual neurophysiology from the Australian National University, Canberra. After time in the USA and at Flinders University in Adelaide, Alan Harvey came to UWA in 1984.  He was promoted to Professor in 2001 and in 2016 became an Emeritus Professor. He is a Senior Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Human Sciences and Conservatorium of Music, UWA, and a Senior Honorary Research Fellow in the Perron Institute and the Lions Eye Institute. He was for a number of years a member of the WA Reproductive Technology Council and a Board Member of the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science. He was also Chair of the Perron Scientific Advisory Committee for 7 years.   He has also been a Board Member of the The University Club of Western Australia, and the Perth Symphonic Chorus.  He is currently a Director and Board Member of the Neurological Council of WA.

Research interests

Continued studies on the use of gene therapy, transplantation and other bioengineering technologies in CNS repair, with current focus on retina and spinal cord. Harvey has ongoing collaborations with Dr Stuart Hodgetts, Dr Livia Carvalho, Dr Jenny Rodger, Dr Dave Nisbet and Dr Vince Wallace.

Publication by Oxford University Press in 2017 of his book: "Music, Evolution and the Harmony of Souls", combines Harvey's neuroscience and music interests.  He is working with Dr Suzanne Wijsman, Dr Jon Prince and other colleagues in Australia, the UK and Poland on neuroscience/music related topics.

Funding overview

Has received over 30 years NHMRC funding support and several ARC grants.  Currently a CI on a Perron Institute grant with Dr Stuart Hodgetts.

Current projects

See above. 


Alan Harvey's research has focused on the use of gene therapy, cell/tissue transplantation, nanotechnology and pharmacotherapy in the repair of the central nervous system (CNS), with particular emphasis on the visual system and spinal cord. He also has an interest in the evolution and neuroscience of music, and published a book with Oxford University Press on the topic in 2017 (title:  Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls). Publication of this book has resulted in Harvey recording a series of invited talks for ABC's  Science Show, and a he gave a TedX presentation in Perth in 2017 (over 410,000 views as of November 2023).
To date he has published over 260 scientific papers or book chapters, including publications in Advanced Materials, PNAS, Journal of Neuroscience, Advanced Science, Chemical Engineering Journal, Brain, Molecular Therapy, Gene Therapy, ACS Nano, Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, Current Gene Therapy, eNeuro, Scientific Reports, Glia, Neurobiology of Aging, PLoS ONE, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Journal of Neurotrauma, and Experimental Neurology. He is a Senior Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Human Sciences, Conservatorium of Music, the Perron Institute and the Lions Eye Institute.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research expertise keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cell death
  • Central nervous system development and regeneration
  • Gene therapy
  • Music, evolution and neuroscience
  • Neural transplantation
  • Neuroscience
  • Neurotrauma and neurodegeneration
  • Neurotrophic factors and cell death
  • Peripheral nerve regeneration
  • Regenerative neuroscience
  • Spinal cord injury and regeneration
  • Visual system


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